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Thai foodies

In your opinion, what must a Thai restaurant serve in order to be successful?

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  1. For me, a killer Pad Gra Prow, excellent Tom Yum
    Soup (normal AND noodle), and some passable Pad Thai and Pad See You.

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    1. In my opinion:
      good curries
      papaya salad
      Banana blossom salad
      chive dumplings
      fried chicken

      And of course, an extra special bonus for a side Thai menu where you don't have to ask for things to be spicy.

      1 Reply
      1. pad thai with shrimp, green papaya salad and tom yum soup are my indicators

        1 Reply
        1. re: pie22

          pie22 read my mind...wow!!! only recently have tried that green papaya salad and YES! it is as good as everyone says!!!

        2. Good soups are a must, tom kha is a favorite of mine. Along with the standard curries, noodles, and fried rices, I love to see a good larb and pad woonsen. Because I love seafood, goong ob woonsen and whole fried red snapper earns big bonus points!

          1. I'd like there to be a great Tom Yum Goong and Som Tam (Papaya Salad). After that, it would come down to the rice and noodle dishes for me. Fried rice, Gra Pow, Pad See Ew, etc... are all something a good Thai chef should be able to make very well.

            3 Replies
              1. re: inquisitivefood

                To be honest, in all the time I lived in Thailand I never had a beverage that I thought was that great(compared with other countries). Not that they don't have any good drinks, but on the streets or in restaurants the best drink I've had there is a good sweet iced tea, but you can get that in many places :)

                I stopped living there about 6 months ago, but I do visit frequently... My best foodie memories are all about the food. I really don't have any fond memories of Thai specific beverages.

                So I would say a good Thai restaurant should be all about the food!

                1. re: BKK Brendan

                  I agree. A lot of the fried finger foods go best with a beer. I think a restaurant that is able to serve alcohol will always do a bit better, however most of the places in my city are BYOB, and that works out fine as well. Now if only I could find a six pack of Singha for less than $10. Ouch!

            1. I rarely see Yum Nue - Thai Beef Salad - on menus in Thai restaurants but it's one of my favorite dishes. I order it whenever I see it on the menu.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sushiqueen36

                I love that dish!! It is at the places near me, maybe I'm just lucky. But it is a must. It would probably be my "last meal" if I were put in that position.

                1. re: Sushiqueen36

                  Good call! That's a classic dish, rarely done well or authentic style outside the region in my experience.

                  1. re: BKK Brendan

                    I first had it at a very small out of the way restaurant in Seattle. Literally a mother and daughter run the place - the daughter is the cook and waitstaff; the mother gives you the menu when you arrive. I know they are Thai so I assume it's authentic but I've not been to Thailand yet I can't comment on its authenticity. I order it every time I go and haven't found another version that I love as much as theirs.

                2. Tom yum and tom kha gai soups
                  Papaya salad
                  Curries (especially red, green and Panang)
                  Basil chicken
                  Pad Thai
                  Fresh fish crispy-fried with chili sauce

                  1. One small thing that's kind of a big deal in my mind: nam pla prik on the table. Going into a Thai restaurant and finding only soy sauce and sriracha on the table makes me really wonder how my meal will be.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: alliegator

                      Agree that nam pla prik should be on every table. There is one place in town that makes it to order (!).

                      As for benchmark menu items, I love a good larb (and it better had powdered rice in it), and will often gauge a place by its tom yum goong. I've pretty much given up on mee krob but that used to be an important dish for me too. And of course pad thai made with tamarind.

                      Places that use holy basil and young green peppercorns on their stalks get bonus point.